I recently finished up a project for a friend who happens to be a home-brewer. He called me up and asked if I had time to create a couple labels for the new beers he was brewing. The idea of making beer labels has crossed my mind before since I see them constantly at my day job which happens to be working as a sign artist for Trader Joe’s. I see a bunch of labels every day and only a few of the beers really stand out to me so I wanted to make something that was actually fun to look at. Hopefully, I could make a label that people would really WANT to read because my buddy was putting a lot of effort into the actual product. So yes, we did move forward with the project and I think they came out pretty cool.
The first beer was a stout Porter that was dubbed Santa’s Little Helper. We talked about having the imagery be a simple portrait of old Saint Nick about three sheets to the wind. I have an affinity for bringing out the creepy weird side of the people I draw. That’s usually something I kind of push against when the illustration doesn’t call for it but I could let it go this time. I kept thinking of all the department store Santa’s that smell like a liquor cabinet.
The other beer was a Gingerbread spiced brown ale. We wanted to go with a scene of some Gingerbread men after a rough day at the office. I always try to think about the story that the characters are a part of whenever I do an illustration. In this particular scene, the surly Gingerbread man wants no part of his drunken buddy’s story time. Look, when you get the part of your brain that controls patience bitten off, its hard to be sympathetic.
It was a really fun project to work on and I’d love to do more!